Saturday, July 4, 2015

Let's Celebrate Ribildfesten!

Hey, it's Independence Day and to celebrate, Americans are bracing themselves for terrorist attacks. Not like, any specific attack, just a slightly heightened level of awareness that at any moment you and you family might be murdered by religious extremists.
Here's the Today Show's tactical sit rep monitor. I guess
because someone in the graphics department was bored.
"Wooo! America!"
Also, here in the waterless tinderbox that is California, authorities are asking people to please be careful and not burn the state down with illegal fireworks. Some cities like Cupertino and Cambria have even cancelled their official fireworks displays on the count of the drought, but some municipalities are just too damn patriotic to let something as socialist as forethought and reasonable precautions to get in the way of blowing shit up in celebration of 'merica's b-day.

"Jah, but it was against the King of
England so fuck it, I'll bring ze beer."

-King Christian IX of Denmark
Disappointing? Sure. But then there's always Rebildfesten. What the shit is Ribildfesten? I'm glad you asked-or that I pretended that you asked. It's the world's largest Fourth of July Celebration outside the U.S. and it's in Denmark, because of course it is. It started back in 1911 when a bunch of people in Illinois, who were of Danish descent, bought a hunk of land in Denmark and then gave it to the Danish King with the understanding that he throw a party to celebrate that time Americans rebelled against the King. Still with me? Good.

Above: One of the rare overseas celebrations
during which our flag is not being set of fire. 
So for over a hundred years Danes have been marking our Independence Day with a line up of Danish musicians playing country western music with those adorable accents of theirs. Weird? Sure. But I suppose we should just be flattered that another country actually like us enough to celebrate our Independence Day even if most of us would be hard pressed to find them on a map. So to celebrate our Independence Day, and to not feel like total assholes if we ever meet a Danish person, I looked up some fun facts about Denmark. Enjoy.
Fact #1: Here it is on a map. You're welcome.
Pictured: Her Highness Queen Margerthe II
of Denmark and what I can only assume is a
Disney Prince's dad. Nice epaulets buddy...
Next, you can impress your new Danish friend with your knowledge of Queen Margerthe II. Like the U.K, Denmark is a constitutional monarchy and has it's very own powerless figurehead sovereign whose job it is to be on the money and wave occasionally. Unlike Elizabeth II however, you've probably never heard of Denmark's Queen which is completely understandable. I mean, Elizabeth is the Queen of like 16 countries while Margerthe on the other hand has like Denmark, some islands in the north Atlantic and Greenland. Speaking of...

Did you know that Greenland was part of Denmark? Yeah, me neither, but apparently they own it so at the risk of wandering even further from the topic (what is it, Arbor Day?) here're some fun facts about Greenland. It's the world's largest island and has a population of 55,000 people, some oxen, and hundreds of thousands of square miles of frozen wasteland.
Above: Greenlanders also must contend with occasional dragon attacks.
(source: sloppy internet research)
Oh, and congratulate them on the
pastry. I'm sure they'd appreciate it. 
Ok what else is there to know? Um, the currency is the Danish Krone, the Prime Minister is a guy called Lars L√łkke Rasmussen, and the official language is Danish. Also, they love to murder giraffes while children watch. Now the next time you find yourself hanging out with some people from Denmark, throwing back some Carlsbergs and enjoying a danish, you can thank them for celebrating our Independence Day before regaling them with your knowledge of Denmark, it's people and their, let's face it, C-list royalty.

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